Fr. Vito Martinez, OFM Cap. is the newest director of Capuchin Retreat Center, arriving on November 1, 2021. He was born in Iowa City, IA and moved to Grand Rapids, MI in 1993. His family is from the southwest "Michiana" region.
Fr. Vito joined the Capuchins at age 33, after being a car salesman and a poker dealer in the Grand Rapids area. During his Capuchin formation, Fr. Vito spent the summer of 2010 at Capuchin Retreat Center, working with the preaching staff (Fr. Ken Rienhart, Fr. Jerry Kessel, and Fr. Jim Andres). he graduated in 2014 from St. Xavier University (Chicago, IL) summa cum laude with a degree in Computer Studies and a minor in Philosophy. He made perpetual vows in 2014, and began his seminary studies at Catholic Theological Union. During his coursework, he served in a almost-exclusively Spanish-speaking parish on the South Side of Chicago, learning theology as well as another language/culture.
He was ordained a priest on August 11, 2018 (Feast of St. Clare of Assisi) in St. Bonaventure Chapel in Detroit, MI. He returned to Chicago to serve as a priest, then Associate Pastor.
In 2020, Fr. Vito guided the community at St. Clare of Montefalco through a parish merger which simultaneously occurred during the pandemic shutdown and restrictions. He, along with Fr. MJ Groark and Fr. Fred Cabras, assisted the Archdiocese of Chicago by going into hospitals and anointing COVID-19 patients.
In 2021, The Province of St. Joseph asked Fr. Vito to take on the ministry of Internal Communications. He also serves as the Coordinator for the Preaching and Evangelization Commission for the Province of St. Joseph.